How can competitive CoD be fixed? – Does Activision Blizzard even care?
Well, let us be honest, it should be no surprise that Activision Blizzard once again managed to disappoint their community, and this time, it is the one related to Call of Duty. Of course, it is kind of expected, as there has been quite a lot of turmoil within the company due to harassment cases and other horrific discoveries that led to a lawsuit that is still being settled.
Activision Blizzard is probably going through one of the worst phases in both game development, cultural worth and esports. Problems are plaguing all major titles, the company is facing one fiasco after another and the esports scene for most titles is dwindling into obscurity. CoD was the last bastion of decency with a league that kept fairly sustainable viewership numbers and player interest. Yet, the new expansion is throwing a wrench in the final stable esport Activsion Blizzard has.
Will the previous mistakes repeat each other?
While CoD was certainly not the most popular esport out there, especially if compared to giants such as LoL, Dota 2 and CS:GO, the community was extremely passionate. Even while there was barely any matches played to begin with, the rivalries and the stories within the scene are something every CoD player knows.
Faced with recent difficulties, we can easily speculate what is going to happen to the game based on the pattern these companies have when it comes to managing their titles.
In the past few years, Activision Blizzard definitely didn’t do great when it comes to esports. From all of the titles under their name, the one that seems most relatable to the current situation of CoD Vanguard has to be Heroes of the Storm. The game definitely had potential, and while it did have a somewhat passionate community, the plug for esports got completely plugged out due to poor interest. Vanguard might be going down the same path as both players, fans and organizations are quickly losing interest in the scene.
For CoD Vanguard, the biggest problem why the game is not getting as much attention could actually be due to the success of their other CoD title, Warzone. With efforts split into handling two titles simultaneously, and a challenging year to do it in, we can see cracks opening up in the entire CoD ecosystem.
How can they save it?
The dwindling Vanguard numbers in all areas have multiple reasons behind em. For starters, CoD: Warzone is free to play, while CoD: Vanguard has a paywall behind it. It is known that CoD is a paid game, and it always was, but if they want to keep up with the market and the interest of players, they have to stop being greedy. Having both microtransactions and a base game price is not something that is appealing to players, which is why most new players are more attracted to Warzone.
While it is all not set in stone yet as the 2022 year has just begun, CoD esports went from having weekly $1,000 tournaments to having no competitions at all for 3 months. The CDL season is announced to start off in February, and Warzone which is the honeypot for Acitvision has no esports support at all, with all current events are organized by 3rd party organizers.
We are left facing with a game that nobody likes to buy or play for extended durations, getting no esports support for 3+ months. On the other hand, The Battle Royale with great playerbase, has no events to compete in whatsoever. It is understandable to not have competitive events over the holidays, but having a three months hiatus with the release of a new game, and no esports support for your most played game is a bit ridiculous.
We understand that the game seems underdeveloped due to all the pressure Activision is under, as there is a major lack of modes in the game, but having a competitive scene as soon as possible is the last straw they need to grab on as soon as possible.
Listen to the community Activision!
For years and years, Activision seems to be ignoring the voices of not only their CoD community but all the communities behind their games that have some kind of stake in competitive play. Luckily, there has been some shaking up, as the Hearthstone esports scene delivered an amazing roadmap for 2022, and while it is a smart start, CoD Vanguard could at least start with that instead of giving single far-off dates and keeping everyone in the shadows about other details.
Both Vanguard and Warzone need a very elaborate and long term development strategy with a comprehensive roadmap. It wouldn’t hurt to have Vanguard free-to-play as well to attract some new players and re-instill interest in the team deathmatch aspects of the game.
If the company continues on this path, we might see an end to the CDL simply because Activision Blizzard CBA’d to bother developing their own esports scene. Will Activision give up on Vanguard and COD Esports as a whole as they did on HotS?